Types Of Night Guards

20th Sep 2020

Types Of Night Guards

Bruxism can leave you with all kinds of discomfort and painful side effects. Fortunately, night guards are a noninvasive treatment option if you habitually clench or grind your teeth. Finding relief will benefit your dental health and improve your sleep. Selecting a night guard is an important part of the treatment process. Should you opt for a drugstore model or a professional-grade product? Is a soft night guard better than a hard one? What other factors should you weigh? With so many types of night guards, the selection process can feel overwhelming. Understanding your options will help you choose the right nightguard for your needs.

types of night guards

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT NIGHT GUARD FOR YOU

The best thing you can do to identify the right night guard for you is to identify your symptoms and the severity of your grinding. These factors play a major role in choosing the best fit guard. For example, if you are a severe teeth grinder, you will need a hard night guard made from the most durable materials. Or, if you experience severe jaw soreness and jaw locking, you might consider a splint to treat TMJ.

When selecting a night guard, choosing the material that's right for your level of bruxism is vital. In addition, you may want to look closely at the exact materials used. For example, many grinders are wary of exposure to bisphenol A, a chemical used in some plastics that is linked to a variety of health issues. Fortunately, BPA-free night guards aren't hard to find. You also want to be certain that your mouthguard is gluten-free and latex-free if you suffer from allergies. Some people have allergies to some materials in acrylic night guards as well.

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THE TYPES OF NIGHT GUARDS

Before selecting a night guard, it's helpful to know what types of mouthguards are available. There are many types of night guards which serve different purposes. Night guards may vary in price, material, and purpose.

OVER-THE-COUNTER NIGHT GUARDS

You can find over-the-counter night guards on the shelves of your local drugstore or a sports store. These are generally either one-size-fits-all stock guards or boil-and-bite models. They are inexpensive because they are not made with durable materials. They're unlikely to work well for serious grinders because the materials will be easily broken down. These guards are better suited for contact sports, as that is what they are made for.

CUSTOM-FIT NIGHT GUARDS

Custom-fit night guards offer a more personalized solution. You can purchase these dental night guards through a dental office or an online retailer like Pro Teeth Guard. They're made in a professional lab using an impression of the wearer's mouth. These guards are made specifically for you using professional techniques and materials. As a result, they're often more comfortable and more durable. Custom night guards also come in a range of materials, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

Night guards produced in professional labs typically come in three versions:

  • Soft night guards: Made from flexible, rubbery materials, these night guards are designed for light or moderate grinders.
  • Hard night guards: Made from a firmer plastic, these night guards are built to withstand the strain of heavy or severe grinding.
  • Hybrid night guards: Sometimes called dual-laminate night guards, these products cover a soft inner core with a harder outer layer to provide heavy grinders with the right mix of comfort and protection.

Flat Plane Occlusal Guards

Flat plane occlusal guards are also commonly referred to as bite guards or flat splints. This kind of mouthguard is usually recommended for people who suffer from bruxism or TMJ as a result of malocclusion, or a bad bite. Custom fitted guards can be made with a flat plane which allows the teeth to easily glide along the surface instead of grinding against each other. This protects the upper and lower teeth from teeth grinding damage. Flat plane guards might also be recommended to treat TMJ because it can encourage the jaw to rest and prevent overactive jaw muscle activity.

“For patients with a bad bite, unnatural stress and strain occur when biting down, chewing, or even when the jaw is at rest. When it comes to the anatomy of the jaw, the slightest abnormality can cause pain over time. If the bite is not corrected, TMD can develop.”

Timothy Mickiewicz, DDS

UPPER TEETH OR LOWER TEETH?

Night guards can be made to fit either the upper or lower teeth. Both options protect all your teeth, so choosing one is largely a matter of personal preference. Night guards for the upper teeth are more common. They often stay in place well, and they don't block the tongue.

However, some people have a sensitive gag reflex or dental work on their upper teeth. These individuals may find a night guard fitted to the lower teeth more comfortable. Dentists also recommend night guards fitted to the lower teeth for people with sleep apnea.

MOUTHGUARDS FOR OTHER CONDITIONS

Bruxism isn't the only condition that can be treated with a mouthguard. Orthodontists often fit patients with orthodontic retainers to be worn at night to prevent teeth from shifting back after certain dental treatment. Additionally, sleep apnea mouth guard pushes the patient's jaw forward to help keep the airway open during sleep.

TMJ or TMD also requires a specific kind of splint for proper treatment. Some TMJ splints include stabilization splints, repositioning splints, and NTI Night Guards. If you believe you suffer from TMJ, we highly recommend visiting your dentist for advice on treatment options and the right type of night guard.

HOW NIGHT GUARDS TREAT BRUXISM

Unconscious, repetitive teeth grinding and jaw clenching can cause teeth sensitivity and headaches as well as neck, ear, face, and jaw pain. The persistent tension in the jaw muscles may also trigger or worsen TMJ disorder (temporomandibular joint disorder). These behaviors can set the stage for enamel loss, broken teeth, and other painful tooth damage.

Night guards, which are also called dental guards, mouthguards, bite splints or bite plates, offer an effective way for grinders to treat bruxism symptoms and protect their oral health. As the American Sleep Association explains, night guards place a physical barrier between the surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. When teeth clenching happens, the right night guard serves as a protective cushion. It shields the enamel and reduces tension in the jaw muscles.

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MORE TO THINK ABOUT

Learning how to choose the right night guard is an important first step to wellness.

At first glance, the many types of night guards available can make selecting the exact type of night guard tough. However, having options actually makes it easier to find one that suits your unique situation. Ultimately, educating yourself about your options and talking to your dentist can help you choose wisely.

Pro Teeth Guard offers custom-fitted mouthguards online for an affordable price. Effectively the same mouthguards that you’d receive from a dentist, our night guards are made in a professional dental lab using high-quality materials and expert processes. We offer a 110% money-back guarantee so you can feel completely confident in your purchase.

References:

Best Seller Hybrid Night Guard
Hybrid Night Guard

For Moderate Grinding


  • Most Popular
  • Hard Outside, Soft Inside
  • 2MM Thick
  • Moderate / Heavy

For Moderate Grinding

Hybrid Night Guard

For moderate grinding and a combination of comfort and durability.

  • Ease jaw muscle pain and protect your teeth against grinding damage
  • Perfect fit and comfort, with a 110% Money Back Guarantee!
  • HSA/FSA  eligible
Shop Hybrid Night Guard
Hard Night Guard
Hard Night Guard

For Heavy Grinding


  • Most Durable
  • Hard Materials
  • 1.5MM Thick
  • Heavy / Severe

For Heavy Grinding

Hard Night Guard

Maximum protection for heavy to severe teeth grinding.

  • Alleviates jaw muscle aches and pains due to teeth grinding
  • Perfect fit and comfort, with a 110% Money Back Guarantee!
  • HSA/FSA  eligible
Shop Hard Night Guard
Ultra Thin Guard
Ultra Thin Guard

For Day Time Grinding


  • For Day Time Use
  • Thin, Barely Visible
  • 1MM Thick
  • Light / Moderate

For Day Time Grinding

For Day Time Grinding

This ultra thin custom night guard is ideal for daytime teeth grinding and or clenching.

  • Very thin and not noticeable when worn
  • Perfect fit and comfort, with a 110% Money Back Guarantee!
  • HSA/FSA  eligible
Shop Thin Night Guard
Soft Night Guard
Soft Night Guard

For Light Grinding


  • For Clenching
  • Flexible & Soft
  • 1.5MM Thick
  • Light / Moderate

For Light Grinding

Soft Night Guard

This soft custom night guard is for light to moderate teeth grinding. Also ideal for teeth clenching.

  • Soft material acts as a cushion for teeth clenching and grinding
  • Perfect fit and comfort, with a 110% Money Back Guarantee!
  • HSA/FSA  eligible
Shop Soft Night Guard

Grind your teeth?

Get a professional quality night guard from $159"
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